WINCHESTER, Ky. (WTVQ)- A Winchester couple is suing the Commonwealth, after they say their foster home status was revoked because they are black and gay.
Tiniqua and Felicia Gay are suing Kentucky’s Department for Community Based Services Cabinet for Health and Family Services and three of their employees for discrimination and retaliation.
The Gay’s say they believe their two white foster daughters were taken away from them because they are an African-American lesbian couple.
“We’ve had a few Caucasian placements but we’ve never been able to move forward with adoption and we’ve been foster parents for almost five years,” said Felicia Gay.
According to a civil complaint filed in federal court, the Gay’s were looking to adopt the two foster children they’d been taking care of since birth when the kids were suddenly taken away after an argument with the children’s biological mother.
“She started throwing some racial slurs. Just was very very hostile. I just pretty much sat there while Emily stood there as well, she didn’t intervene or anything,” said Felicia Gay.
The Gay’s say they filed a complaint against the social worker who witnessed the incident and just days later their foster home status was revoked.
“And this is the cabinets excuse for closing their home. ‘They cannot allow a situation to exist that is not in the best interest of the children or the child.’ What situation? In my mind there’s only one two three. Because they’re African-American, because they’re lesbian, which is very significant and because she complained which is retaliation. It’s obvious,” said H. Wayne Roberts, the Gay’s attorney.
ABC 36 reached out to cabinet spokesperson Doug Hogan who said the cabinet cannot comment on pending litigation.
The Gay’s say they will continue to fight for their foster parental rights but say the likelihood of getting their foster daughters back is slim.
“They revoked our license. So I don’t think there is a possibility for us to get them back which is heartbreaking for my family,” said Felicia Gay.
The Gay’s have filed their complaint in federal court.
Their lawyer says they are hoping for a jury trial but the case could take months, even year’s to resolve.